Tracer Wire comes in a variety of sizes. (know which one is right for your job)

There are many variations of tracer wire available on the market today, from 6 AWG to 18AWG; you can bet there is an option for your project.

Within each utility or construction industry, whether gas, sewer, water, or direct burial, there are predetermined specifications that guide professionals on the proper tracer wire type, color, gauge, and use case.

Tracer Wire is used in numerous industries

Tracer wire is an integral product for infrastructure safety utilized across the globe. Although the utility industries typically receive the most benefits of tracer wire capabilities, it is no stranger to irrigation systems, directional drilling applications, pet containment, and even advancements in lawn robotics.

A commonly followed color guide found within the utility industry (also referred to as APWA Uniform Color Code) to correctly identify underground tracer wire lines is as follows:

Yellow Jacket- Natural Gas Lines

Green Jacket- Sewer Lines

Blue Jacket- Potable Water

Purple Jacket- Reclaimed water and/or irrigation

Orange Jacket- Fiber Optic or telecommunications

Black Jacket- Pet Containment

Do I need to Ground my Tracer Wire?

The answer to this question is always YES! If you want to ensure that your locator signal travels down the tracer wire path and can be detected at a later time, then properly grounding your tracer wire’s “dead-ends” is imperative.

The industry standard for grounding your tracer wire system is by using a 1.5lb drive-in magnesium ground rod paired with a lead wire of no less than 20ft. Not only will the complete grounding of the underground tracer wire system be aptly able to communicate with locators detecting pipes, but it will also defer all corrosion from the tracer wire system back to the magnesium rod. (Like MAGIC!).

We are still finding new uses for Tracer Wire.

During the late 1880’s it was determined that safety regulations needed to be put in place due to the quickly growing need for electricity. This milestone led to the development of the utility industry and, later, the birth of underground tracer wire.

Since then, underground tracer wire has expanded its reputation from just utilities to underground pet containment systems and even robotic lawn engineering and integration with GPS technologies.

As you can see, tracer wire has a variety of advantages and uses for long-term applications. Throughout the world, tracer wire is being utilized to decrease excavation mishaps and underground threats. If you would like to find out more about the benefits of tracer wire or are looking to invest in safety for your next project, visit us at or give us a call at 1-800-527-3295.